Any of several nonvenomous, semiaquatic snakes of the genus Eunectes of tropical South America that kill by coiling around their prey, especially E. murinus, which can attain a length of up to 9 meters (29.5 feet).
[Earlier, a large snake of Sri Lanka, from New Latin anacandaia, from Sinhalese heṇakandayā : heṇa, thunderbolt (from Middle Indic asaṇi, from Sanskrit aśaniḥ; see ak- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + kanda, stem, trunk, body (from Middle Indic khandha-, from Sanskrit skandhaḥ, shoulder, upper back).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.